How to Start Your New Year’s Fitness Goals: Do It Safely

Don’t overdo it, prevent overuse injuries

A woman sits in the back of her SUV, drinking water, with fitness gear in view including a jump rope and a yoga mat. SD Health Magazine

Don’t overdo it, prevent overuse injuries

If you resolved to kickstart a new workout routine in the New Year, you’re not alone. In fact, studies have shown that half of all New Year’s resolutions are fitness-related. 

If you want to set yourself up for success without overextending yourself early in the year, start slow, says Laika Nur, MD, a sports medicine specialist at Scripps Clinic.

“A lot of people want to start where they want to be, which may be working out five times per week,” Dr. Nur says. 

“What you really need to do is start where you are. If it’s yoga, start with an introductory class until you get the basics down. If it’s pickleball, take a lesson once a week instead of immediately playing every day. This way, you’ll achieve longevity.” 

Introducing a new activity too quickly is the easiest way to overdo it and risk overuse injury. 

“Overuse injuries come from repetitive motion — doing the same activity over and over again without allowing your body adequate rest,” Dr. Nur explains. “This is especially likely if you go from not doing an activity at all to trying to do it seven days a week.” 

How do you tell the difference between an overuse injury and something more serious? Simple, Dr. Nur says. Listen to your body. 

“Anything that hurts during the activity and worsens as you keep doing it is your body letting you know that you’re overdoing it,” she says.


“Mix it up with a balance of stretching, strengthening and cardio. Allow yourself time to rest and know your limits.” 

That’s a recipe for resolution success.

San Diego Health Magazine Winter 2023 Cover

This content appeared in San Diego Health, a publication in partnership between Scripps and San Diego Magazine that celebrates the healthy spirit of San Diego.

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